You've got to be one amazing cat if your introductory line is: "0% Photoshopped. 100% Born This Way"—and if you've ever seen Venus the Two-Faced "Chimera" Cat, we're betting that you yourself did a double-take to make sure that she was truly born that way! Even Snopes.com (the go-to guide for identifying internet hoaxes) had to weigh in on the matter, confirming that Venus is, in fact, the real deal. However, despite her amazing appearance and the fact that she's got hundreds of thousands of fans around the world following her on Facebook and Instagram, Venus is very much a normal feline with a love for cardboard boxes and a tendency, at times, to be bossy toward canines! She now uses the media attention she receives to shine a spotlight on causes near and dear to her heart including educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets, volunteering in Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) programs for strays to reduce the number of animals in shelters, and providing support to no-kill rescues.
Venus, as a former stray herself, can personally attest that the efforts of just one individual can lead to a better life for countless animals in need. In our recent interview with Venus, she tells us how she feels about the attention she gets wherever she goes, whether or not she's got a dual personality to match her looks, and she offers advice on how all of us can feel comfortable in our own fur.
Thanks for speaking with us, Venus! You're definitely a one-in-a-million kitty so we're very excited to have the opportunity to ask you a few questions. First off, how do you feel about all the attention you receive both online and off for your incredible coloring?
I love the attention! I love posing for pics and sometimes mama gets pictures of me without me even knowing. She tells me all the nice things people say and what girl doesn't like that kind of attention?
Does it ever hurt your feelings when people think that your pictures must be Photoshopped?
No, because honestly, if I didn't know I was real, I would probably think I was photoshopped too, hehe!
Might there be two sides to your personality as well? If so, what are they?
Nope, just one personality, but I can get a little territorial and bossy at times, even towards the dogs.
We think that the decision to name you after the goddess of beauty and love was a perfect one, as you're a very beautiful cat indeed. If your mom doesn't mind letting us know, what other names were in the running for you and how did she finally decide on Venus?
There were a few names but the only other one I can think of was Moo-Moo because I was born on a dairy farm. My Mama and her friend at work wanted to think of something that matched my personality and looks at the same time. They thought Venus was the purrrfect fit because they thought I was so lovable and pretty just like the Roman Goddess of beauty and love.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other cats AND humans who were born a bit different from others and might be having a hard time coping with it?
The best answer I have for this is a quote from Dr. Seuss, "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" If we all looked the same it would be pretty boring. Everyone is special and unique in their own way. Wear it proud and learn to love your perfect imperfections.
Which do you prefer: boxes or paper bags?
Finally, we think it's awesome that your stunning looks have helped you raise awareness about the many cats around the world in need of forever homes. We'd love to know about the cat rescues you support and what the rest of us can do to help.
I LOVE that I can help raise awareness through my social media popularity. There are too many cats, like myself born as strays with nowhere to call home. That is one of the biggest problems shelters face today. There are too many cats (and dogs) and just not enough space. If more people would get their pets spayed and neutered and/or get involved in TNR (trap, neuter, release) in feral/stray colonies more shelters could commit to becoming no-kill shelters. When they have 3x more coming in than they can adopt out it doesn't leave them much of a choice which is sad. There are a few no-kill shelters and private rescues though that we regularly support, foster for, and/or use for low cost spay and neutering. Florida Humane Society is a non-profit no-kill shelter that started out of Founder, Carol Ebert's van back in the 90's and has built to what it is today. This is where mama adopted Ginger from 9 years ago and also where she adopted Roo from last November after Mojo died, when she went to give them donations she got in lieu of gifts for her surprise 40th (oops, I mean 29th) birthday party (Daddy knew she would rather have people donate than buy her stuff). They saw Roo, heard his story and knew he had to become part of the family in honor and in memory of Mojo, my BFF. Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida - is another non-profit no-kill private rescue that we've fostered for. Yoshi, our male Shiba Inu (same breed as Halo) came from this rescue. Cats Exclusive is both a no-kill shelter but also does veterinary care and low cost spay and neutering. They have a lot of "permanent residents" there that have been with them for years because they never got adopted out and probably never will......true no-kill! Lastly, Stray Aid is the low-cost spay/neuter clinic we've used most for TNR. They are also a non-profit no-kill rescue. They have a mobile spay/neuter truck which makes it very convenient for people to bring cats & dogs in to be spayed and neutered to help control the pet population. Mama is hoping that one day we can raise enough money to put another mobile spay/neuter truck on the road to help even more.